Thank you again so much to Kelsey Lyons for the copy of The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Bishop Tutu!!! I’ve been re-reading it lately and last night I went back through the chapters about gratitude and compassion. The section on perspective really sunk in again as well a couple of nights ago as you could see by the post yesterday. As often happens my brain soaked in more than I thought and I was looking at the world very differently when I woke up this morning.
When my alarm went off I laid there for a second and felt how stiff and sore my legs were. Remembering the book I paused and said to myself, “How lucky am I to be alive this morning? How fortunate am I to have a body that is capable of exercise? How wonderful is it that I am able to spend quiet time with Becky doing something so healthy and fulfilling?” I couldn’t help but smile and get out of bed.
While running Becky and I talked about many things and it reminded me of perspective again. In every moment of every day I have the opportunity to determine how I will view a situation. If I am in a bad mood or seeing something negatively it is entirely my fault and I need to find a way to change it. Not only change my perspective, but find a way to learn from it and be thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow.
For lunch today I really wanted to go for a walk but had second thoughts due to the heat and my sore muscles. My mind went back to the thought of gratitude and I realized that I wasn’t looking at it the right way. This was a beautiful day to go for a walk! The sun was out, there was a little breeze, and the exercise in the heat would strengthen me, not break me. I headed out and enjoyed a wonderful stroll that allowed me to take a deep breath and think through several challenges I have in front of me at work.
My normal path took me through the cemetery. Yup, you could say it’s morbid, but I find it quite motivational. As I walked through I kept thinking about how thankful I am to be alive. It led me to think about what they would like to do over if they had more time which then reminded me of what is truly important in life. As I walked I thought about how fortunate I am to be alive to enjoy those important moments more. I was thankful for all their grave stones reminded me of.
About midway through the cemetery loop I happened across and older gentleman. As we passed we both smiled at each other. He looked at me and said, “We must be a couple of walking diehards, huh?” as his smile spread even bigger across his face. Mine did the same as I agreed with him. It was a moment of bonding and companionship. We both were congratulating the other for finding the reason to go out instead of using the heat as an excuse to do something we enjoy. That moment was pretty cool.
At work there were a couple of times in which my mind kept returning to that thought of gratitude. Even though certain things are definitely challenging they are opportunities to grow and learn. In some cases I was thankful for past painful lessons that helped me guide others through their own challenges. Had I not struggled and failed in the past I wouldn’t have been able to help, or even worse, I might have hurt them with my advice. Funny how after the fact it’s so much more clear that something was a great learning experience instead of a really difficult time.
Throughout the day my attitude, mindset and life were impacted by those wonderful lessons from The Book of Joy. I highly recommend it to anyone who could use a little nudge to help them through the challenges they may be facing. It’s well worth the time to read and inspires me on an almost daily basis. Today those lessons really stood out loud and clear and I was thankful for each of them.